Ian McCall knew that missing first half opportunities would come back to bite Partick Thistle-as you can’t miss chances when Lawrence Shankland is playing against you.

The Dundee United forward and McCall’s former Ayr talisman was in lethal form at Firhill. After no goals in two games, he hit back with a perfect hat-trick to inspire a 4-1 Tangerines win.

Shankland was on fire. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Kenny Miller’s goal was merely a consolation as the Championship league leaders ran away with a win in Maryhill. Thistle looked good in the first half but missing decent opportunities stopped them from taking a hold of the game.

The second 45 was a different story though as Robbie Neilson’s side coasted over the finishing line. Sitting in ninth following this result, McCall says that a poor second half combined with the missed chances in the first 45 killed Thistle’s victory hopes.

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“We should have been ahead in the game,” said McCall. “We had to go with an attacking team and the first goal makes it harder. The second half was really poor and they’ve got a centre forward who could play in any team in Scotland and he’s playing in the Championship.

Big praise from McCall. (photo by David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

“It was tough in the second half for us. We know that they have sizeable players at set-plays and Lawrence’s second or third goal was a mistake from us. The frustrating thing is there was a lot to like about how we played for 30 minutes.

“That’s one-third of the game but you’ve got to get one or two goals. The second half from our point of view was a non-event. It’s a sore one, we wanted to make it a real competitive game.”

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